Dr. Sandra L. Osborn, age 86, of Verona, Wisconsin, passed away on August 1, 2023, after a three-week journey at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. We appreciate the wonderful care she received there by all who came into contact with her.
Sandy was born on September 2, 1936, to Bernice and Harold Ladehoff of Davenport, IA. She graduated from Davenport High School in 1954 and earned a bachelor’s degree in teaching at Iowa State Teachers College (now the University of Northen Iowa). She then went on to earn a master’s degree in mathematics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. There she met her first husband, J. Marshall Osborn, a Mathematics Professor at UW-Madison. They were married in 1959 and had two children, Catherine (Garth) Kangas of Shakopee, MN, and Douglas (Barb) Osborn of Madison. She divorced in 1972.
Not yet academically satisfied with her master’s degree, Sandy pursued a childhood dream and went on to earn her MD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, doing her residency at Iowa University in Iowa City, IA. She became a pediatrician and began practicing in 1972 at the East Madison Clinic (which became part of Dean Clinic). Her career was incredibly fulfilling to her.
After a romantic proposal on a ski lift, Sandy married her second husband, Marshall (Marsh) Finner, a UW-Madison Professor of Agricultural Engineering and Mechanical Engineering in 1987. Marsh retired in 1994 and passed away in July of 2022. Marsh had two daughters by a previous marriage: Sherri (Jim) Kardong of Woodland Hills, CO, and Susan (Larry) Cochard of Evanston, IL. His daughters became valued members of her family as well. Marsh and Sandy met and worshipped at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Madison, which was an important part of both of their lives.
After Sandy retired in 2002, she continued to remain very active in the field of medicine by serving as a mentor to a class of new medical students at UW for 4 years, which she found very rewarding. She also served as the president of the Wisconsin Medical Society, including 2 years as vice president before and 2 years as Emeritus afterwards. She was an enthusiastic supporter and enjoyed many performances of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, The Concert Organ at The Overture Center, American Players Theater, and the Milwaukee Ballet. She also enjoyed and supported Wisconsin Public television and radio.
Sandy’s smiles came easily, and she had a great animated laugh that lit up her whole face and made everyone around her happy. She always loved to be approached by her patients later in life who would come up to her so excited to say, “Dr. Sandy, you were my pediatrician!” These many encounters made her beam with pride. She was well respected by her peers and everyone who worked with her.
Sandy is survived by her brother Harold (Patsy) Ladehoff of Woodstock, VA. She was also adored by her seven grandchildren and one great-grandson. Sandy was a generous and kind, intelligent and driven woman who made her mark in life. We will miss her dearly for the rest of our lives.
Please join us for a visitation at Cress Funeral Home at 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, on Thursday, August 10, from 4-6 p.m. We will also hold a Christian service at Covenant Presbyterian Church at 326 S. Segoe Road, Madison, on Saturday August 12, starting at 1 p.m. followed by a reception with light refreshments. Sandy’s ashes will be interred in a private ceremony in the Columbarium at Covenant following the reception.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in Dr. Sandra Osborn’s memory can be made to the Stethoscope Program for new doctors, made payable to the 'UW Foundation' with a note to direct as a tribute to the Wisconsin Medical Alumni Assoc. Fund, #112587891. Mail check to UW Foundation, US Bank Lockbox Box 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807. Gifts can also be made online at www.supportuw.org/giveto/Steth.